Mike and I first visited Denver in the early 2000s, and we were not impressed — it seemed to be one of those typical Midwestern cities which empty out right at 5pm, as everyone hops in their cars and returns to their homes in the suburbs. But something changed over the next decade, because when we returned for a short visit in 2010, we were surprised by how much we enjoyed the city. Was it Denver that changed, or was it us?
The big difference for us seemed to be that the downtown felt revitalized. There was a lot of commotion on the streets in the evening, with plenty of bars and restaurants, and people walking around enjoying them. There was a rental system for city bikes, allowing residents to get around without cars. The city just felt healthy and alive — the kind of place where there’s always something happening. During our visit, there was a food truck festival being held, and we had a blast. Over the course of just a single evening, we found that our opinions of Denver had totally changed.
Apart from the bustling nightlife, we found other aspects of the city to appreciate. First, of course, is the dominating presence of the Rocky Mountains, right on the city’s doorstep. Not only do they provide a gorgeous backdrop for the city, but offer up a plethora of nature activities to Denver’s residents, like hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. We also discovered the FasTracks Light Rail, which went into operation in 2006. We’re huge fans of public transportation and were surprised to learn that although the Light Rail is new, Denver has had a tramway since 1886 — just a few years after its founding.
Looking back on these pictures, which over a decade old, makes us remember how much fun we had during our short trip to Denver. From what we hear, the city has only improved — and now that Colorado has legalized a certain plant, there’s even more to enjoy. The only downside to Denver’s burgeoning popularity, is that it’s becoming a lot more expensive place in which to live… but that shouldn’t prevent us from visiting!